Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and in much of the westernized world, contributing to considerable morbidity. Several of these obesity-related morbidities are associated with greater risk for death with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 penetrates human cells through direct binding with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors on the cell surface. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 expression in adipose tissue is higher than that in lung tissue, which means that adipose tissue may be vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Obese patients also have worse outcomes with COVID-19 infection, including respiratory failure, need for mechanical ventilation, and higher mortality. Clinicians need to be more aggressive when treating obese, especially severely obese, patients with COVID-19 infection.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.